What is a meta description, really? Meta descriptions are like people carrying signs advertising your business. The objective of a meta description is straightforward. Its job is to get people to click on your link whenever your business or content appears on a search engine results page.
According to Google, meta descriptions do not have any direct impact on the SERP ranking. However, a properly written meta description encourages click-throughs to your website, and clicks are a ranking factor. This indirect benefit makes meta descriptions extremely important.
However, user testing from Safari SEO Sydney found that a well written meta description encourages click-throughs to your website, and clicks are a ranking factor.
Plus, Google prefers to rank websites with the search terms in their meta description. Optimizing your meta description, therefore, is non-negotiable for your on-page SEO.
There are many good examples of meta descriptions that can show the importance of a well-written description. A proper meta description example would be paper writing service review platform, Online Writers Rating‘s homepage meta description.
A meta description is one of the many HTML tags that exist in the HTML tag glossary. But this tag—you can also call it an SEO description—many marketers and web owners either overthink it or ignore it.
Donald Fomby, marketing pro at essay writing review service, Best Writers Online, describes it perfectly. “A perfectly written meta description is like a salesman, and a flashlight rolled into one; it invites searchers to your business and points the way.”
We’ve outlined a few killer tips on how to write meta descriptions. These tips will encourage searchers to click on your links, boost your CTR, and raise your ranking.
1. Keep it at 160 characters or less.
To be clear, Google has the final say on how your meta descriptions show up if it shows up at all. Sometimes Google will truncate your description anyway. But to be safe, keep to the meta descriptions limit, which is 160 characters. Or possibly a little less, so that in the event your meta description is shown, it won’t be truncated.
This is the character limit you have for writing meta descriptions. Use this range to write a description that is concise but long enough to pass across your message. Bear in mind, though, that Google will sometimes decide to use a few sentences from your copy in lieu of your description.
2. Write in an active voice and include a CTA.
It is a bum move to leave searchers to their imagination. Your landing page is the product, and your meta description is the sales copy. Use it to direct searchers. Your description should let them in on what they can expect when they click the link.
Write in an active tone. Ensure that it is upbeat, motivating, and personal. And don’t forget to add a call to action. This CTA will strongly suggest the action you want the searchers to take. Phrases like “Buy Now,” “Learn More,” “Try for free,” and “Get it now” come to mind.
3. Include your focus keyword
Learn all the tips on how to write meta tags, and it will still fall short without a keyword strategy. Every marketer understands the basics of how keywords help searchers find content.
This principle works just the same for meta descriptions. When people search, Google highlights search terms wherever present in the results that show up.
Use your focus keyword (and their synonyms too when possible) in your description. It doesn’t only make your page more attractive to Google, but to the searchers as well.
4. Include product specifications with rich snippets, where necessary.
Including specifications works best for e-commerce and sales platforms. Making rich snippets adds a level of detail to your meta description, such that the searcher needs little to no convincing.
For product-specific meta descriptions, you can include the price, discounts (if any), SKU, product rating, and more. Of course, this is assuming that your target audience is those looking for that specific product.
5. Make sure your meta description aligns with your page’s content.
Google used to be a lot dumber. There was a time when you could stuff keywords everywhere, and no one would be the wiser. Those days have since gone the way of the dinosaur.
Today, Google can quickly find out whether the content of your meta description does not align with your page’s content. And you can be penalized for this.
But on the rare occasion that you use your meta description as clickbait and Google doesn’t find out, site visitors will quickly click away from your site. This will blow up your bounce rate, which tells Google that your website doesn’t have the quality to rank. So it’s right back to the beginning for you.
In summary, write a quality meta description and page content that are preaching the same message.
6. Don’t plagiarize others or yourself.
One thing that is worse than no meta description is a plagiarized meta description. As far as Google knows, all pages with the same meta description are the same. This is a problem that severely dents Google’s user experience. You may be the one to lose in this situation.
Don’t plagiarize other people’s meta descriptions, even if you are selling the same product or service. Do not duplicate your meta descriptions from other similar pages on your site. When writing meta descriptions, make them all unique. Anything else will hurt your traffic, your click-through, and your ranking.
It’s interesting how much power this 160-character field of information holds. It’s not a thing to be trifled with. These tips above will help you write the perfect SEO description. Even if you can’t do descriptions for every single site page, you can prioritize your most popular and money pages. Ensure these have meta descriptions.